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This Lonely Seahorse Is Lost In An Invasion Of Crabs

02/12/2015 10:08 am ET | Updated Feb 12, 2015

What do you do when your home is invaded by thousands of crawling crabs?

A lonely seahorse living under Port Phillip Bay's Rye Pier in Melbourne, Australia, is still trying to figure that out.

Between April and July each year, hundreds of thousands of great spider crabs gather in the shallower waters of the bay and march across the sandy seafloor to shed their skin.

Unfortunately for the seahorse in the video above, that means that, once a year, a mass of orange crawlers make it difficult to find any peace and quiet.

So when a gentle diver ventured into the mayhem, this particular seahorse saw an opportunity.

"When this beautiful spotted seahorse saw me," diver PT Hirschfield wrote on her blog, "it decided that staying as close to me as possible was its best chance of survival."

"At one point," she continued, the seahorse "darted right under the camera, trying to wrap its long tail around the finger of my glove where it might be safe to rest."

Seahorses typically cling to coral and plants in an effort to protect themselves; crabs, fish and rays are all common predators.

Scientists are still trying to understand why these bright orange crabs, usually dispersed throughout the bay, gather en masse in these shallow waters during the winter. Julian Finn, senior curator at the Museum Victoria in Melbourne, speculates that the crabs come together for protection while they're molting.

As they gather, the crabs shed their hard shells almost simultaneously; their fresh, soft skin makes them more vulnerable to prey. In a large group, Finn surmises, the individual crabs have a lower chance of being eaten.

As winter winds down, the crabs will disperse with their new shells, and hopefully, the seahorse will feel at home once again.

We're rooting for you, lonely seahorse. We really are.

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